Tonight I watched the most wholly depressing movie I think I've ever seen, Hotaru no haka (aka Grave of the Fireflies). It is an almost unbearingly beautiful and heartwrenching work of Japanese anime which tells the tale of a young boy and his toddler sister who are orphaned by the Allied assault on mainland Japan and struggle to survive, seemingly subsisting only on hope, love and denial.
After that movie ended I really needed something to cheer me up, so I tried Ping Pong, a more recent Japanese film which concerns itself with high school table tennis players. In some ways it is like any sports film, thematically exploring competition, glory and discipline, and sociological constructs like heroes and friendships, but it covers it with a more pensive atmosphere (think asian philosophy) than your typical western sports film. The movie is well made and felt about as fresh as I could expect from something in the sports genre. It was inspiring; not in a overwhelming way, but in a deeper more subtle way like drinking chilled sake.